Free lodgings in Britain: Hospitality networks (couchsurfing), home swaps, and house sitting services
Couchsurfing and other hospitality networks allow you to sleep for free in other member's homes
Hospitality networks gather folks who are willing to put up fellow members in their homes for free or for a small fee
Ways to sleep for free in the U.K.
Sleep in a religious guesthouse or retreat at abbeys, monasteries, priories, and convents across the U.K. from just £45
Sleep for free on vacation by watching someone's house (and, often, watering their plants and feeding their cat)
Trading spaces isn't just a show on basic cable anymore. It's a way to live life like a local on your travels absolutely for free—so long as you let the local borrow your life (and home) in return.
Programs like WWOOF and Helpx let you barter your services for a free place to stay
If you love sailing, or just have an unquenchable taste for adventure and new experiences, you can sign on to help crew a boat just about anywhere in the world, including the U.K.
A network of free stone cabins where you can sleep off the beaten path in the U.K.
Tips on having the most comfortable air travel experience possible, from getting to and from the airport to picking the right seat on the plane
2,400 members—though U.K. coverage can be spotty, with just 68 members in England.
Membership: $65 for a downloaded directory; $80 for a print version. Plus $15–$30 gratuity for your hosts.
Requirements: Must be over 40; must agree to host.
An acutal UN-accrecited NGO devoted to fostering world peace through travel.
Membership: Free, buy you must submit two letters of recommendation snad undergo an interview.
2,100+ members in 86 countries, including 400+ in the U.K.
Membership: Recommended donation of £37, with annual renewal fee of £27.
Requirements: Must be female and over 18.
500 listings in 30 countries.
Membership: €25. No fee, donation, or gratuity for hosts.
Requirements: It doesn't say you have to be gay, but I assume that's a bit of a given.
Helpx was founded in New Zealand in 2001 by an Englishman who worked his way across Australia and New Zealand. The idea is to offer to work for an average of four hours per day in exchange for free accommodation (and, sometimes, meals).
You can sign up for free, but if you pay for Premier membership (€20 for two years), you are able to contact all hosts and read all host reviews. Being "Premier" also allows hosts to read your own profile, where you can list special skills, and they might reach out to you to offer a gig.
Some hosts only ask for two hours of work a day, but require you to provide and cook your own food. Other might ask for a full four to six hours, but cook for you and feed you.
WWOOF is a collection of volunteer organizations in 97 countries around the world, from Australia to Korea, Ghana to the U.S., Italy to Nepal (plus "independent" members—countries with only a handful of opportunities).
Each chapter is devoted to supporting and helping teach about organic and environmentally sound farming techniques—though many joke that the funny acronym WWOOF doesn't actually stand for "Worldwide Opportunites on Organic Farms," but rather for "Willing Workers On Organic Farms," since you do end up doing a lot of farmhand chores.
To become a Wwoofer, You join the WOOF chapter in the country where you'd like to work (for roughly $10 to $40)—so you would join WWOOF UK (for £20)—it sends you a list of farms that would appreciate a helping hand in exchange for room and board.
You must be willing to put in six hours of work six days a week to see how the farming half lives in a variety of nations.
from our partners
It is considered to be an act of treason to place a postage stamp featuring the queen’s head upside down on an envelope. Off with your head!